Weeks after the mega-release of Hot Air 2: All Blown Up, Nitrome has unveiled another slick Flash game titled Toxic. It combines your standard adventure platformer with ... bombs! Destructible environments! And ... more bombs! Imagine a roaming platformer game sprinkled with elements from Bomberman and you have a pretty good idea of what Toxic is all about.
Controls are simple, just move with the arrow keys, jump with [up], and place a bomb by tapping the space bar. You can also wall jump by tapping the opposite direction of the wall you're sliding down. As you pick up new types of bombs, you'll discover new ways to destroy the landscape around you and defend yourself from mechanoid creatures throughout the game's 20 stages.
Levels are mostly straightforward with a slight emphasis on puzzle solving rather than quick reflexes. Often you'll need to use a certain type of bomb to reach out of the way areas just so you can find the right kind of bomb to get you to the goal. Once you're familiar with each bomb type, it's a breeze figuring out how to make it through each stage, though that doesn't mean it will be an easy task getting there.
Analysis: Same high-quality presentation as Nitrome's other releases, but Toxic has a much dirtier feel to it, probably because of the, you know, industrial waste theme. Toxic also feels as if it were designed to appeal to a broad audience by keeping everything familiar to veteran gamers. Piloting a chairlift is unique and off-the-wall, but controlling a guy in a Hazmat suit dropping bombs is something we've all done in a video game once or twice. Toxic doesn't quite live up to Nitrome's more creative releases, but it still gets the job done extraordinarily well.
The only real bone I have to pick with Toxic is the hit detection. From a design point of view, it's a delicate situation to let players destroy the environment. That can create all kinds of unpredictable situations. In the case of Toxic, narrow ledges or leftovers of destroyed wall may look suitable for standing, but often you clip right through. It's a similar feeling when you stand back from a bomb blast only to realize you weren't far enough away.
Despite its more mainstream design, Toxic manages to reel you in with a good mix of action and puzzle gameplay.
The game is also available to Play at MTV Arcade.